SC asks why Imran didn’t close offshore firm for 10 years after selling assets

Staff Reporter

Islamabad
Supreme Court Justice Umar Ata Bandial has wondered why Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan did not shut down his offshore company, Niazi Services Limited, even 10 years after selling its assets.
Bandial, a member of a three-bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar, also asked how it could be established that NSL had no assets owned in its name after the sale of Khan’s London flat.
Akram Sheikh, the counsel for Pakistan Muslim League-N leader Hanif Abbasi, contended that Khan had not submitted the complete bank statement of his offshore company, founded on May 10, 1983 and winded up in 2015.
The counsel argued that Imran himself had admitted that he was the beneficial owner of the NSL. However, the chief justice observed that legally the PTI chief was not the owner of the company.
The chief justice added that Khan had not submitted his travelling records to prove that he was not residing in London then.
Chief Justice of Pakistan Saqib Nisar asked Akram Shiekh, the lawyer representing PML-N leader Hanif Abbasi, whether any documents were available to prove that the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf had accepted prohibited funds.
However, the chief justice had observed that the Political Party Order 2002 did not envisage such a penalty for the submission of a “fake” certificate.
“On what basis can it be said that the certificate [submitted by the PTI] is fake?” the chief justice asked the lawyer on Wednesday.
The bench asked the PML-N counsel to point out undisputed facts and submit evidence to substantiate that the PTI received funds through prohibited sources.
The chief justice observed that the top court decided cases under Article 184/3 of the Constitution on the basis of admitted facts, adding that the nature of records presented before the court did not fall into this category.
Presenting his arguments, Akram Sheikh said “how can someone who submitted a false certificate be considered sadiq [honest] and amin [truthful].
Justice Bandial observed that the receipt of prohibited funds has to be established first.

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